What is an Inbound Call Center?

An inbound call center is a customer service function whose primary responsibility is to handle incoming customer phone calls. By contrast, outbound call centers make calls to customers and contact centers handle customer contacts from multiple channels, not just phone calls. Customers call inbound call centers for any number of reasons - to place an order, voice a complaint, ask a question, cancel a flight reservation - and it is the call center's responsibility to answer the calls quickly and provide customers with a professional and competent experience.

The ability to deliver a high quality customer experience depends mostly on the quality of agents in the inbound call center. For customers, the agent is the voice of the business. In fact, agents might be the only people that customers ever interact with from a company, making the agent and their work environment a key concern for any company. It's not enough to hire well and train thoroughly. Inbound call centers also need to ensure agents are competently supervised, surrounded by high performing teammates, work in a well- maintained facility, have a schedule that works for them, and are provided with the tools that engage and motivate them and enable them to provide the service experience customers expect.

It sounds like a tall order, but there are software tools that help inbound call center agents be successful. For example, automatic call distributors (ACDs) use intelligent routing logic including skills and proficiency levels to ensure agents only receive calls that they are qualified to handle. Customer relationship management (CRM) applications allow agents to view customer history so they can personalize the interaction, and if the CRM software is integrated with phone systems, a CRM screen can automatically "pop" for the agent when he answers the call. Agent dashboards allow inbound call center agents to view their performance stats, fostering engagement and ownership. Workforce management applications can help ensure that schedules are fair and consistent with agent needs and integrated Quality Management facilitates quality control and agent training when needed.

Often, inbound call centers find that if they take good care of the agents, the agents will take better care of the customers. Software tools help inbound call centers ensure agents are positioned for success.

How NICE can help

NICE CXone is the market leading contact center software in use by thousands of customers of all sizes around the world to help them consistently deliver exceptional customer experiences. CXone is a cloud native, unified suite of applications designed to help a company holistically run its contact center and inbound call center operations. CXone includes:

Omnichannel Routing – routing and interaction management that empowers agents to positively and productively interact with customers in digital and voice channels. These solutions include an automatic call distributor (ACD), interactive voice response (IVR), interaction channel support and proactive outbound dialer.

Workforce Optimization – unlocks the potential of your team by inspiring employees' self-improvement, amplifying quality management efforts to enhance customer experience and reducing labor waste. These solutions include workforce management (WFM), quality management (QM), recording and performance management (PM).

Analytics – turns insights into results by making data relevant, easy to consume and actionable to drive measurable improvements and understand the omnichannel experience customers receive. These solutions include interaction analytics, customer surveys, reporting and performance management.

CXone also includes pre-defined CRM integrations and UCaaS integrations with most leading solutions on the market. These integrations provide a holistic contact center software solution capable of elevating customer experiences for companies of all sizes.